A Bit Like You And Me Radio

October 17, 2012

The Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men (1967)

Starting out as The Spectres in 1962, this group has had more songs chart in the UK than any other rock group in history: sixty, to be exact. Out of those sixty, twenty-two have reached the UK’s Top Ten. Ironically, the group only had one hit in the United States, heard below. In early 1967, the band was getting into psychedelia, much like the rest of the musical world, and they changed their name to Traffic. To avoid confusion with Steve Winwood’s Traffic, they altered their name to Traffic Jam. By late 1967, they felt they needed another change and became Status Quo, soon altering that to The Status Quo. Collectively known as The Quo, or Quo, the group had been created around school friends Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster. In 1985, Lancaster left the group and, as of 1986, they have continued on without him.

Written by Francis Rossi while trapped in a bathroom to avoid his wife and mother-in-law, this song was originally planned as the B-Side to “Gentleman Joe’s Sidewalk CafĂ©.” After realizing its potential, the A and B sides were flipped and it went on to reach number seven in the UK and number twelve in the US. Two versions of the song exist, the mono original and the stereo. This version, the mono, features a wah wah guitar riff in the breaks of the lyrics. The stereo version did not have that feature. Inspired by the paintings of L.S. Lowry, the song was originally released in November 1967 as a single and later re-released on their September 1968 album, Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo, which primarily featured cover songs.

album art

The Status Quo - Pictures of Matchstick Men (1967)

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Lyrics:

When I look up to the sky
I see your eyes a funny kind of yellow
I rush home to bed, I soak my head
I see your face underneath my pillow
I wake next morning, tired, still yawning
See your face come peeping through my window

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

Windows echo your reflection
When I look in their direction now
When will this haunting stop?
Your face, it just won't leave me alone

Pictures of matchstick men and you
Mirages of matchstick men and you
All I ever see is them and you

You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie
You're in the sky and with the sky
You make men cry, you lie

Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men and-
Pictures of matchstick men and
Pictures of matchstick men...

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